Shanmukhapriya – Raga Ruminations

Shanmukhapriya as the name suggests is a melody that’s believed to be a favourite of Lord Shanmukha. But the beauty of the melody captivates all music lovers. There are several Tamil compositions in this raga either praising Lord Shanmukha or his father Lord Shiva, many of which have been composed by Papanasam Sivan such as Sharavana bhava enum and Aandavane. Dikshithar who called this raga Chamaram has composed an invocatory song to Lord Ganesha, Siddhi Vinayakam. Parama purusha, another song in this raga and a composition of Annamacharya praising Lord Balaji of Tirupati is sung mostly in the high octave.

I can think of none other than the stalwart Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer when I hear Siddhi Vinayakam.

M.S Subbalakshmi’s rendition of Parama Purusha has an outstanding neraval in the latter half of the song that brings out the nuances of the raga. With a happy blend of melody and lyrics the neraval is precise and deeply soul-stirring for the listeners.

There is no Hindustani equivalent to this raga.

The song Kanakkul nooru nilava featuring actors Amala and Raja in the Tamil movie Vedham Puthithu was based on Raga Shanmukhapriya.

In the classic Tamil movie Thillana Mohanambal the song Marainthirinthu Paarkum was based on this raga. The song is about Shanmukha which incidentally is also the name of the hero in the movie.

For those who want details, Shanmukhapriya is the 56th Mela raga with the following scale SR2G2M2PD1N2 SN2D1PM2G2R2S

7 thoughts on “Shanmukhapriya – Raga Ruminations

  1. Venkatesh Kikkeri February 15, 2014 — 4:43 pm

    Dear Madam
    An extremely useful blog on canatic ragas.
    One of the great krithis in raaga shanmukhapriya is “Marivere dikkevaraiya Raama”. Nerval at Sannuthaangasri offers great scope to bring out the nuances of yhis raaga. Also some of the greatest pallavis are in this raaga.
    Just wanted to share
    Thanking you


    1. Thank you for your feedback. Marivere of Patnam Subramania Iyer is a classic song in this raga with the line (from the charanam) Sannuthangashri well-suited for neraval. One of my gurus O.S.Tyagarajan has also sung a beautiful pallavi “Jagannatha sahithe naadha sahithe” in this raga set to Kanta jaathi triputa tala.


  2. Thank you. I wonder why Hindustani musicians have not welcomed this raga into their style. There is one recording by K. Shridhar, the Sarodiya, who perhaps is connected with south Indian traditions although he plays a north Indian instrument. Here is the link:

    DKM Kartha


    1. Thank you for the link – will hear this.


      1. Here is the alaap part by the same artist: K. Sridhar.

        DKM Kartha


  3. madam how many gurus you have


  4. Dear madam,
    Is valayosai gala gala vena song from movie sathya – is it shanmugapriya. Please revert.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close